Ross Donlon

The Horses

For Kristin Holst

Three twelve-year old girls have turned into horses.

but hold onto reins, being riders as well as horses.


Cantering in circles through tall summer grass,

they wind the spell that turns girls into horses.


Now there is song, a climbing helix of notes

a phoenix might call to a troupe of passing horses.


So primal, this need to feel freer than humans can be,

to run faster, fly higher, beyond the self - to be horses.


In the park there are ramps left by skateboarders

but the girls see jumps made for three horses.


Two take turns to lie still as water but the third

props before she leaps into air - the mercy of horses.


Heads erect, pony-tails catch the bobbing sun.

I watch from another time, as one should with horses.


Sunlight and Shadow

A circuit of the Gardens takes walkers through sunlight and shadow,

the red gravel path seeming sure of its way in both sunlight and shadow.


This morning’s epiphany is to find meaning in shadow-shape, the lace effect

a commemoration or celebration of leaves that spread sunlight and shadow.


Other images recall cumulous clouds backlit by the bright sun in a white sky,

jigsaw pieces trying to connect a picture of sunlight and shadow.


Sometimes lines are especially clear between dark and light, Rorschach

blotches expand and contract in a guessing game of sunlight and shadow.


It’s true muted shades of hazy grey can make meaning difficult to unpack

when the red path disappears, a blur between sunlight and shadow.


My walk around the Gardens becomes a ghazal; the couplets like thoughts,

connected and separate, a distracted journey between sunlight and shadow.


Ross Donlon is an Australian poet